Land Center Winter Institute teaches professors theology of work and economics

Land Center Winter Institute teaches professors theology of work and economics

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – The 2014 Land Center Winter Institute, Jan. 9-10, brought together Baptist professors from seminaries and Christian universities to teach them to integrate the theology of work and economics in their courses and to provide support and ideas for developing new coursework at their respective institutions.

The conference, attended by professors from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Golden Gate Seminary, and Hardin Simmons University, among others, comprised lectures and discussions led by professors from the fields of work and economics. Topics included Marxism and salvation history, energy and the environment, and the current economic situation in the U.S.

Craig Mitchell, director of the Southwestern’s Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement, spoke about environmental sustainability. Talking points from his lecture included three approaches to environmental ethics: the theocentric point-of-view, which says that God created and maintains the environment; the anthropocentric view, which says that people can do whatever they want without any concern for the environment; and the ecocentric view, which says that economic growth comes at the cost of environmental health. Mitchell said that these three viewpoints frame many of the ideas surrounding environmental sustainability. Mitchell argued for the theocentric view, which he said should influence Christians’ approach to environmental issues.

“Our goal [with this conference] is to reach professors at different schools so they have the right view of work and economics,” Mitchell said. 

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